The Jessie Liu clue: A D.C. cover-up that IS Spygate


A lengthy yet stupendous article written by J.E. Dyer exposes the hypocrisy of the lying Dems when it comes to criminal justice and the U.S. Constitution. The Dems feign (cough Pelosi) love of the rule of law except or unless that law applies to Dem/Leftist/Deep State law violations. READ ON!

 

JRH 2/14/20

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The Jessie Liu clue: A D.C. cover-up that IS Spygate

 

By J.E. Dyer

February 13, 2020

Liberty Unyielding

 

The “Old” (Eisenhower) Executive Office Building across from the White House in Washington, D.C.. (Image: Wikimedia)

 

Four federal prosecutors resigned from their case on Tuesday when Attorney General William Barr overruled the sentencing recommendation they made for Roger Stone, whom Robert Mueller had forwarded charges against involving “five separate counts of lying to the House Intelligence Committee and two charges of obstructing a congressional investigation and intimidating a witness.”

 

Notably, the Justice Department’s lead counsel in the Stone case, Jessie Liu – the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia – had recently turned over that role to Timothy Shea, because Ms. Liu had been nominated for a post at the U.S. Treasury.  Liu was also the lead counsel for some time on the Michael Flynn case.

 

On Tuesday, Trump withdrew the Liu nomination for the Treasury job, about the same time the four prosecutors, three of whom were members of the Mueller team, announced they were off the Stone case.  Liu was previously scheduled for a Senate hearing on Thursday.

 

Jessie Liu – center on MSNBC – MSNBC video (screen capture)

 

In the interest of getting expeditiously to the meat of this post, I won’t rehash the whole story on this.  It can be gleaned at the links.  One thing is important to note, however, as we survey what looks very much like a major maneuver of some kind between the “swamp” and the Trump administration.

 

According to a DOJ source, the four prosecutors who left the Stone case on Tuesday changed their sentencing recommendation between the time they briefed it to the Department and their formal filing with the court.  The clear implication is that they told their bosses one thing, but then filed with the court for another.  The sentence they recommended – seven to nine years – was well outside the sentencing guidelines for the offenses, and the DOJ (according to the source) had not seen or approved it.  Rather, the DOJ thought the recommendation would be a different one.

 

At this initial stage, readers should draw their own conclusions about who is telling the truth here.  There is reason, at least, to believe that the formal sentencing recommendation was made without approval from the DOJ higher-ups.

 

That would be enough reason for the four prosecutors to be off the case.  But Jessie Liu wasn’t involved in the sentencing recommendation, so that incident, in itself, doesn’t explain why her nomination was withdrawn.

 

Enter the March 2017 handoff

 

This section of the analysis is what we might call a wholly-owned subsidiary of sundance at Conservative Treehouse, to whom the credit goes for the superb sleuthing that revealed a bottom line I’m going to state up-front.  It is fully developed by sundance, and for the essential background and documentation, please read the CTH article.

 

The bottom line is that some media outlets have had a complete copy of at least the first FISA application on Carter Page since March of 2017, when Senate Intelligence Committee official James Wolfe leaked it to four journalists, including his girlfriend Ali Watkins.  This is recorded in documents from James Wolfe’s prosecution, which were unsealed in 2018.

 

CTH points out what that means: that outlets like the New York Times, where Watkins later took a job, have known what was in the FISA application since shortly after the compromising handover by James Wolfe took place.  The date was 17 March 2017, two months after Trump took office, and long before the FISA applications were made available in redacted form to the public.

 

James A. Wolfe. (Image: Fox News, LinkedIn)

 

Moreover, Senator Mark Warner, the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, may have known about the compromise at the time it happened.

 

And Jessie Liu was the prosecutor who eventually accepted a plea from James Wolfe to a minimal charge, and effectively swept this bombshell leak of incendiary Top Secret material under the rug.  As pointed out at CTH, a core motive for this was the determination of Wolfe’s defense to call witnesses who would almost certainly have revealed that members of the Senate knew what Wolfe was doing.

 

Sundance calls this the “DC cover-up that’s as big as Spygate.”  Key aspects must be noted in that regard; e.g., that there are media outlets that must therefore be complicit in selling the pubic a bill of goods on the “FISA applications” narrative.  They’ve known all along what those applications contained, yet published as if they didn’t: not to protect national secrets, but to support a narrative that injured real people – through harassment and manufactured prosecutions – based on falsehoods that the FISA applications expose.

 

Sundance also makes a sound case that Mark Warner, and probably others, knew as well; not only what was in the FISA applications (which Warner had to know, having been authorized to read them unredacted in the SCIF), but that the FISA applications had been leaked to the media.

 

Again, it is certain that at least one of the first two FISA applications (from October 2016 and January 2017) constituted the material leaked.  A sentencing document filed by the DOJ in December 2018 makes that clear.  It may have been only the first application that was leaked; I discuss that below.

 

This is undoubtedly enough of a compromising situation for some in the Senate to not want it coming out in a confirmation hearing for Jessie Liu.  Sundance prepared some good, suggested questions for the now-canceled hearing.  But I doubt members of the Senate would really want the answers coming out in public – or even just the implications raised by the questions.

 

This was Spygate

 

I would go further than sundance, meanwhile, and say that this cover-up isn’t merely as big as Spygate.  It is Spygate.  It was part and parcel of the effort to gain advantage over Trump and take him down, an effort that started before he was even elected, and one whose full panoply of methods we still haven’t grasped.

 

To lay it out, I’ll start by noting something that hadn’t clicked into place with me until sundance highlighted it in the post linked above.  I had followed the James Wolfe case, knew about Jessie Liu’s role, and even understood that the classified material involved – i.e., leaked by Wolfe –  was related to the FISA applications.

 

But it hadn’t registered meaningfully with me that Wolfe leaked the material on 17 March 2017.

 

Recognizing the significance of that specific date makes the difference in how we see the event and its motivation.  Why?  Because during that period, Devin Nunes was working on a set of requests for the executive agencies which included FISA applications, and information about “unmasking” actions taken by federal authorities.

 

Devin Nunes (Image: Screen grab of Fox News video, YouTube)

 

Nunes had sent a demand – disclosed to the Washington Post on 15 March – to the NSA, CIA, and FBI for information from them on whose names had been “unmasked” from incidental (non-targeted) electronic surveillance, in the period of the Trump transition (and probably some additional time on either side of it).

 

But he also sent a separate request to the Justice Department specifically for FISA applications.

 

In February 2018, the Lawfare blog posted a handy (if hostile) timeline of Nunes’s efforts to figure out what was going on with the unmasking.  Most Spygate followers will chiefly remember Nunes’s dramatic press conferences later in March of 2017.

 

But he had gained sharpened awareness of the unmasking as an issue when it became clear, with the David Ignatius article in the Washington Post on 11 January 2017, that Michael Flynn had been unmasked in a phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

 

Nunes fully understood the relationship between FISA-authorized surveillance and unmasking.  And he knew that it would be necessary to look into the records on both aspects of intelligence processing to determine what had been going on.

 

VIDEO: Devin Nunes: Trump Communications ‘Incidentally’ Collected By Intelligence Agencies | NBC News

 

 [Posted by NBC News

1.84M subscribers – Mar 22, 2017

 

Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee tells press he has been notified that Trump team communications have been “incidentally,” legally collected. He also said more names involved in Trump campaign have been unmasked but MORE TO READ]

 

After President Trump sent his famous 4 March 2017 tweets about having been “wiretapped” by Obama, Nunes and Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to the acting attorney general (Dana Boente) requesting “copies of any applications the Justice Department submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, any orders that the court released, and any copies of warrants issued by federal judges or magistrates regarding Trump, his campaign surrogates, business associates, employees, family and friends.”  The timeframe requested was the year 2016.

 

That letter was sent 8 March 2017.  And note this about it: whatever your opinion of Devin Nunes, one thing no one would say of him is that he was complicit with either anti-Trump media or anti-Trump officials (i.e., “deep staters”) inside the government.

 

Thus, his letter of 8 March would have been the first communication from such a person – an official outside the anti-Trump circle – posing formal questions, to which the Carter Page FISA applications had to be the answer.

 

In other words, Nunes was taking aim at the real target.  (Something I noted at the time; see my link on his 22 March 2017 press conference, above.)

 

Don’t get ahead of me here, because understanding this as a Spygate episode requires seeing it whole.  Nunes and Schiff gave the DOJ a deadline of 13 March to respond.  On 13 March, the DOJ requested more time.  Nunes’s office told the media that if there was no response before FBI Director James Comey testified to the House committee the following Monday (20 March), Nunes would request the information during Comey’s hearing, and would subpoena it if necessary.

 

On 17 March, the day the FISA applications were made available in the SCIF on Capitol Hill, Nunes then provided this very informative statement to the media: “The Committee is satisfied that the Department of Justice has fully complied with our request for information from our March 8 letter on possible surveillance related to Donald Trump or his associates.”

 

That statement comports perfectly with what we would expect if the DOJ had forwarded copies of its 2016 applications made to the FISA court, including the Carter Page application.

 

Note two things.  One, fulfilling this request from Nunes and Schiff would have been the reason the Carter Page FISA application was sent to the Hill on 17 March 2017.

 

Mark Warner and the Senate Intelligence staff would have known the request had been made – and known that the documents were coming on the 17th – because Warner was in the Intelligence Gang of Eight, and Schiff would have shared it with him, at a minimum.

 

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) – Youtube (screen capture)

 

Two, only the first Carter Page application, from October 2016, would have met the terms of the House Intelligence Committee request, which was for applications made in 2016.

 

That’s why I think it’s probable that only the first FISA application was leaked to the media on 17 March 2017.

 

A decision point, identified

 

But of more importance is the point that Nunes was the catalyst for shaking it out of the DOJ.  That means that at the time the FISA application was leaked, and indeed for at least a couple of weeks before, some group of Deep Staters was closely attuned already to the significance of Nunes’s role and what he was trying to do.  They knew he was on the hunt for a trail of activity that would lead back to them.

 

The interval between 13 and 17 March is thus an intriguing one.  The DOJ asked for more time on 13 March, but apparently without previewing anything it was committing to.  By 17 March, it had delivered the Carter Page FISA application, along with the others from 2016.

 

That tells me a decision was made between 13 and 17 March to deploy the Carter Page application rather than trying to keep it under wraps.  The method of deployment was sending it to Capitol Hill.

 

This would constitute circumstantial evidence of the collusion that sundance postulates, presumably involving actors other than James Wolfe on Capitol Hill – and suggesting cooperation with the Justice Department, which sent the FISA application, and the media, whose members received the leak from Wolfe.

 

On Tuesday 21 March, the day after Comey’s 20 March hearing, Nunes made his famous visit to the White House complex and viewed material on the unmasking of U.S. persons, an inspection arranged for him by officials inside the White House.  The next day, 22 March, Nunes briefed his concerns to the media, setting off a firestorm.

 

There were other events in the ensuing timeline; read them at your leisure.  I’ll skip ahead to the one on 30 March, when as Lawfare recounts, “The New York Times reports that Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the White House counsel’s office working on national security issues, provided Nunes the intelligence documents he referenced in his March 22 press conference.”

 

The events highlighted above, including that last one, are the ones that matter.

 

The Nunes events make this Spygate

 

The date 17 March 2017 was not happenstance.  Because Devin Nunes was probing for information about surveillance of the Trump team, there were quite a few people on Capitol Hill – and in the media – who would be motivated to set a counter-operation in motion at the first opportunity.

 

It’s easy to identify 17 March 2017 as that opportunity, because that’s the date stamped on the “official copy” of the Carter Page FISA application that made its way to the Hill.

 

But can we find the outlines of a Deep State/anti-Trump plan here?  Can we justify thinking in terms of collusion, and supposing that multiple people were involved in taking advantage of that opportunity?

 

There are strong reasons to say yes.  They relate to two circumstances.  One is the 30 March New York Times article identifying two individuals as Devin Nunes’s contacts in the White House.

 

The other is the very first event in the Lawfare timeline: 11 November 2016, when Nunes was appointed as an adviser to the Trump transition team.

 

Trump-transition-Trump-Tower – AFP video, YouTube (screen capture)

 

That means Nunes himself had been subject to being dragnetted in the Carter Page surveillance, by the two-hop rule, since 11 November 2016.

 

Nunes probably wasn’t the only one on Capitol Hill, for that matter.  But once he was seriously on the hunt for FISA and unmasking information – which would lead to the activity trail of the anti-Trump surveillance – the motive to keep him under surveillance would have been exceptionally strong.  He met that definition by mid-February 2017 at the latest.

 

Remember, it’s not “wiretapping” we’re talking about.  It’s not listening in on phone calls.  The method would have been retrieving “non-contents” information from telecom providers, using tailored queries that met the criteria authorized by the Carter Page FISA warrant.  That kind of surveillance, covering phone calls, texts, and other instant messages, could be done without the subject or anyone connected with him ever knowing.

 

If Deep State planners were tracking Nunes, they had not only the motive to drop the Carter Page FISA application to the Hill, and thence to the media, on 17 March 2017, but the means to foresee that Nunes’s contacts with the White House would lead very soon to his being afforded a look at what had been going on there.  They were alerted, in other words, to the danger to themselves, in time to take planned and deliberate advantage of the FISA application’s arrival on Capitol Hill.

 

Tracking Nunes (and probably the other two individuals named by the New York Times) was also a likely and accurate way to identify Nunes’s White House contacts(s).  It had the merit of not requiring an initial cue from a source who actually witnessed the interactions.  Knowing whom Nunes had been in contact with, his monitors could then ask intelligent questions of White House leakers who had only incidental awareness of what others in their vicinity were doing.

 

Pulling Liu’s nomination

 

If I were Trump and Barr, and had assembled information pointing in essence to a scenario like this – or were still in the process of assembling it – I wouldn’t want the Jessie Liu confirmation hearing to trip landmines before their time.

 

Trump wouldn’t withdraw the Liu nomination merely out of misplaced compassion for embarrassed senators or Deep Staters.  He’d have good reasons to do it for his own purposes (with or without a dramatic event like the four prosecutors’ departure).

 

One of those reasons would be that Jessie Liu probably doesn’t belong in the job at Treasury.  Whatever else she knew about James Wolfe and the Senate Intelligence Committee in the March 2017 timeframe, she knew that the classified material Wolfe leaked to the media was the Carter Page FISA application.  She was apparently willing to cooperate in keeping that explosive information out of the public eye.

 

It may be that Liu was less culpably complicit than willing to go along, on the sidelines of an ambiguous situation, under pressure from higher echelon.  We needn’t have a bloodthirsty attitude about Liu, per se.

 

But here’s what we do need to have: an accounting to the American people, before even one more official involved in very questionable actions by the government gets another pass.

 

The people have trusted the system in the blind long enough.  No reckoning – no happy-face career progression for the known participants.  If you want to object, go sell it to Michael Flynn and his family. (Or sell it to Roger Stone. DOJ let James Wolfe off with a two-month sentence.)

 

An additional reason for pulling the Liu nomination is simply that it may not be time to detonate the landmine yet.  John Durham is doing his job.  He, Barr, and Trump will know when it’s time.

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BLOG EDITOR: I’ve apparently been placed in restricted Facebook Jail! The restriction was relegated after criticizing Democrats for supporting abortion in one post and criticizing Virginia Dems for gun-grabbing legislation and levying protester restrictions. Rather than capitulate to Facebook censorship by abandoning the platform, I choose to post and share until the Leftist censors ban me completely. Conservatives are a huge portion of Facebook. If more or all Conservatives are banned, it will affect the Facebook advertising revenue paradigm. SO FIGHT CENSORSHIP BY SHARE – SHARE – SHARE!!! Facebook notified me in pop-up on 1/20/20: “You’re temporarily restricted from joining and posting to groups that you do not manage until April 18 at 7:04 PM.”

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J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.

 

Copyright © 2020 Liberty Unyielding. All rights reserved.

 

Before Crossfire Hurricane: Devin Nunes asks the essential question…


J.E. Dyer examines Horowitz’s Report on Crossfire Hurricane FISA abuses (a better word – CORRUPTION) in Devin Nunes questioning of pre-operation beginnings by the FBI. VERY IMPORTANT READ and you’ll want to read a few times to digest the info.

 

The first paragraph has a link to the 480-plus page IG Report.

 

JRH 12/11/19 (H/T:  J.e. Dyer  at Facebook Group Patriot Action Network)

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Before Crossfire Hurricane: Devin Nunes asks the essential question after release of DOJ IG report

 

By J.E. Dyer

December 11, 2019

Liberty Unyielding

 

Devin Nunes (Image: Screen grab of Fox News video, YouTube)

 

Analytical revelations from the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the conduct of the “Russia-Trump” investigation won’t end any time soon.

 

The highlights have come out quickly, such as the startling count of 51 procedural violations by the FBI just in forwarding the FISA applications on Carter Page, and the fact that nine of those 51 involved making false statements to the FISA court.  In light of these and other findings, the IG report’s conclusion that all this troubling conduct didn’t amount to “bias” on the part of the FBI seems rather … beside the point.  Pick another measuring stick, folks.  That one is about as useful to our public purpose as Gloria Steinem’s famous bicycle was to a fish.

 

Whatever we label it – and “bias” is an unimpressive scare word to begin with – a federal law enforcement undertaking so full of violations and false statements is a problem of the highest priority.  So call it Petunia, for all I care.  Just don’t have the crust to call it something that frames it to be written off.  Real, live Americans have to live every day with what we suffer the FBI to do in the name of law and order.

 

And if the senior officials at headquarters are allowed to misbehave themselves so badly, it doesn’t much matter how honorable the rank and file are.

 

In any case, although there is surely a lot more to come as the IG report gets its public walk-through, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) bore-sighted Monday evening on the question that must propel us forward.

 

The IG report only takes us so far.  That’s because it accepts the start date of its investigative charter as the day Operation Crossfire Hurricane was launched by the FBI: 31 July 2016.

 

We’ll learn a lot from looking at the period after that.  But the operations of U.S. agencies against (or, if you like, “involving”) members of the Trump campaign were underway well before that.  Even if we use the friendlier-sounding term “involving” here, it’s still the case that agencies and personalities that engaged with Trump campaign members after 31 July 2016 were also involved with them before 31 July 2016.

 

Devin Nunes called that out on Monday.  He’s brought this up previously, and didn’t elaborate at length in his segment with Sean Hannity (whose audience wouldn’t need a lengthy explanation).  But that’s what he’s referring to here.

 

And his question is the essential one.  The DOJ IG report looked at the conduct of the FBI and DOJ in Crossfire Hurricane.

 

But who was coordinating what was being done before Crossfire Hurricane started?

 

That question gets to the fundamental mystery of how the counter-Trump operation was started, and who was behind it.  The motive for the operation can only be ascertained fully by answering these questions.  The FBI was a late-comer to the game.  It wasn’t “the” string-puller (which was probably a small group, rather than a single individual).

 

If nothing else, Peter Strzok’s affect in 2016 tells us that.  He doesn’t text like someone who has known for months – or years – that Stefan Halper was set onto LTG Michael Flynn back in 2014, or that Carter Page has been working with the FBI since 2013 to take down Russian agents in the United States.

 

And that’s really the point about the IG report too.  The report is framed as if it’s kind of no big deal that there was prior engagement by the actors in its own drama with the Crossfire Hurricane targets:  Paul Manafort, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn.

 

The IG report accepts at face value the narrative that Crossfire Hurricane was initiated on 31 July 2016, based on the nugget from Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that in May 2016, George Papadopoulos had told him something about the Russians and incriminating information on Hillary Clinton.

 

Yet within two weeks of 31 July 2016, this new operation had turned unerringly to a confidential source (Stefan Halper) who had known Paul Manafort for years, had engaged with Michael Flynn back in 2014, and had invited Carter Page to a conference at Cambridge in July 2016 (where Halper and Page happened, according to Halper, to discuss the possibility of Halper joining the Trump campaign), before Crossfire Hurricane started.

 

Meanwhile, the FBI had had Manafort under investigation several years earlier, and had electronic surveillance of him since 2014 (up through probably March of 2016, when reporting suggests the FISA authority for that surveillance expired).

 

The FBI had been receiving cooperation from Carter Page in interdicting Russian agents in the U.S. who were trying to recruit Americans.

 

And Stefan Halper, whom the IG report refers to as Source 2 (with a number of allusions that make Halper the only viable candidate for that designation), had been involved in an apparent attempt to pin the appearance of improper Russian connections on Michael Flynn in 2014.

 

Papadopoulos, on the other hand, while he had not been approached by Halper before 31 July 2016, had been approached in March 2016 by the Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, who was well known to the U.S. State Department and ran tame among the top officials of the British and Italian intelligence organizations.  Papadopoulos was subsequently approached by Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat with extensive links to the same UK intelligence officials Stefan Halper hosted conferences with at Cambridge multiple times each year.

 

There are a couple of passages in the IG report that afford an intriguing look at how these remarkable coincidences were accounted for in testimony to the IG.

 

We are given a little background on Stefan Halper’s (Source 2’s) checkered history as a confidential source (p. 313 as page-numbered in the IG report document):

 

Source 2 was closed by the FBI in 2011 for “aggressiveness toward handling agents as a result of what [Source 2] perceived as not enough compensation” and “questionable allegiance to the [intelligence] targets” with which Source 2 maintained contact. However, Source 2 was re-opened 2 months later by Case Agent 1, and was handled by Case Agent 1 from 2011 through 2016 as part of Case Agent 1 ‘s regular investigative activities at an FBI field office.

 

Case Agent 1 remains anonymous in the report and has not been firmly identified by blogosphere analysts.  He is referred to as male in the report, however, and was working Crossfire Hurricane in 2016.*  He is described as having an extensive history with Source 2 between 2011 and 2016.

 

Therefore, we get the following characterization a couple of paragraphs later (on p. 314):

 

Source 2 ‘s involvement in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation arose out of Case Agent 1’s pre-existing relationship with Source 2. Case Agent 1 told the OIG that when he arrived in Washington, D.C. in early August 2016 to join the Crossfire Hurricane team, he had never previously dealt with the “realm” of political campaigns. He said he lacked a basic understanding of simple issues, for example what the role of a “foreign policy advisor” entails, and how that person interacts with the rest of the campaign. Case Agent 1 said he proposed meeting with Source 2 to ask these questions because Case Agent 1 knew that Source 2 had been affiliated with national political campaigns since the early 1970s.

 

Case Agent 1 seems to have known the source he had been handling since 2011 reasonably well.  So this passage in the middle of p. 315 comes across as a bit puzzling:

 

Source 2 told the Crossfire Hurricane team that Source 2 had known Trump’s then campaign manager, Manafort, for a number of years and that he had been previously acquainted with Michael Flynn. Case Agent 1 told the OIG that “quite honestly … we kind of stumbled upon [Source 2] knowing these folks.” He said that it was “serendipitous” and that the Crossfire Hurricane team “couldn’t believe [their] luck” that Source 2 had contacts with three of their four subjects, including Carter Page.

 

It strains credulity just a bit, that Case Agent 1, who’d been handling Source 2 since 2011, found it mere “luck” to discover that Source 2 knew Manafort, whom the FBI had investigated intensively since 2011, and had contacted Carter Page, with whom the FBI had worked since 2013, only a couple of weeks before Case Agent 1 joined Crossfire Hurricane.

 

Perhaps Case Agent 1 had no reason, at least, to know about Source 2’s connection with Michael Flynn.  But as for the rest, it sounds for all the world as if Case Agent 1 read a Wikipedia entry on Source 2 to get his background information, and then was disingenuously astonished to find out how relevant to Crossfire Hurricane Source 2’s history would actually be.

 

Case Agent 1’s protestations sound, in other words, less than credible.

 

His and the Crossfire Hurricane team’s reported disbelief in their “luck” requires accounting for, given the extensive history of the FBI with everyone that “luck” applied to.

 

That’s where Devin Nunes’s question comes in.  If it wasn’t the FBI that assembled all that “luck” prior to 31 July 2016 – who was it?  And was it, as we would reasonably assume, the same maker of “luck” that manufactured a series of contacts in early 2016, and then handed George Papadopoulos to the FBI, tied up with a bow?

 

Obviously, readers will be waving their hands in the air at this point calling out “Brennan!”  But it’s equally obvious John Brennan couldn’t do this alone.  Just for starters, the Steele dossier was a key component of the anti-Trump operation, and there is neither need nor evidence for connecting it to Brennan’s instigation (at least not directly).

 

Moreover, the collaboration that may have come from foreign intelligence agencies (e.g., in Italy and the UK, as well as the notorious grab-bag of other European sources, like Estonia, supposedly plying Brennan with information in early 2016) would have had motives other than merely helping Brennan out with a personal project.  For those sources, motives related to their own perceived interests had to be in play.

 

There are probably reasons the public will never be cleared for why Brennan would have taken a set against Michael Flynn.  We know of one reason why senior personnel at the DOJ might have.

 

Meanwhile, the odd centrality of Ukraine and Paul Manafort to the Russiagate drama seems to have had its origins and motives from other actors: in the State Department, in the Democratic Party, in at least one of the Democrats’ major funders, George Soros.  And those origins and motives appear, like the animus against Flynn, to have predated even Donald Trump’s candidacy for president.

 

Nunes is right.  This is what we need to get to the bottom of.  All that “luck” the Crossfire Hurricane team stumbled into: who authored it?  Will John Durham be able to dig that out?  Is he making the attempt?

 

William Barr’s comments this week, which include a reference to looking at the activities of other agencies (besides the FBI and DOJ), suggest that at least some version of that attempt may be underway.  But we don’t know its scope or quality.

 

If we get a few indictments for things done by DOJ and FBI personnel after 31 July 2016, and if Trump weathers the impeachment frenzy unscathed – and if we complacently accept never knowing the answer to Nunes’s question – we remain at grave risk for something like this happening again.  We remain at risk for not understanding the alarming power our government’s intelligence and law enforcement tools can wield over our nation’s future.

 

That’s why one of the most important things the IG report can do is point us not only to opportunities for indictment, but to discrepancies in testimony and narrative that set channel markers: buoys we can navigate by in chasing down Nunes’s question.

 

The alarm he raised in early 2017 is what cued both his committee and an interested public to demand the exertions that got us to the DOJ IG report.  In his excellent new book The Plot Against the President, journalist Lee Smith recounts much that was previously unreported about Nunes’s efforts and the centrality of his role.  Without Nunes, we wouldn’t have the broad public understanding we have today of the truth about Russiagate and Spygate, as opposed to the script written by Fusion GPS and pounded in the media.

 

I suggest trusting Nunes one more time: that we cannot rest until we know how and with whom this whole business really started.

 

* Regarding the identity of Case Agent 1, Internet sleuths are lobbying for one of two FBI agents who have spoken at Halper-organized events at Cambridge in the last decade.  This tweep suggests one of them (who was an FBI attaché at the U.S. embassy in London from 2012 to early 2016).  That agent has been a speaker for Halper at least twice.  In an article for The Federalist, Mollie Hemingway had a list of three names – including the one suggested by @TheLegalBrain1 – of FBI agents who appeared at a Halper conference in Cambridge in 2011.  Other analysts are partisans of the third name in the 2011 list for Case Agent 1.

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Blog Editor: Rather than capitulate to Facebook censorship by abandoning the platform, I choose to post and share until the Leftist censors ban me. Recently, the Facebook censorship tactic I’ve experienced is a couple of Group shares then jailed under the false accusation of posting too fast. So I ask those that read this, to combat censorship by sharing blog and Facebook posts with your friends or Groups you belong to.

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J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.

 

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